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  • #61
    Steve at Howards called me back. I had asked him about the 15W-50 oil that I was told to use. They want to see 10W-40, maximum viscosity.

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    • #62
      Steve were you using the 15W-50 oil to start with or something else?

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      • #63
        I went with Kevin's recommendation to use Joe Gibbs BR1, which is a 15W-50 break in oil from the start. After a few hundred miles I switched to Joe Gibbs HR1, also a 15W-50 oil.

        I spent quite a bit of time today reading up on oil viscosity. Bobistheoilguy has a "viscosity 101" through 201 and this explains viscosity vs. oil flow rate in generic terms. All xW-50 oils will have the same viscosity at operating temperature. My oil pump is going to flow oil at a rate increasing (approximately) linear with RPM until the pressure exceeds the bypass valve setting. After that point it will flow at a constant rate.

        My engine oil should operate at about 210 degrees F. A race motor putting out max power will operate substantially higher, around 300 degrees, thus requiring a higher viscosity number to survive.

        Melling doesn't advertise what the pump bypass pressure is, but I have had a mechanical gauge on this engine for initial startup and found this to be 80psi. Using a 50 weight oil, 80psi pressure will be exceeded at relatively low RPM.

        Bob has some interesting charts in this article here: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-109/

        Bob's charts for 30 and 40 weight oil and a high volume pump suggests that 80 psi is reached with a 50 weight oil at less than 1500 RPM. After that, there will be no increase in flow. Oil flow rate is what lubricates plain bearings, so the bearings aren't being lubricated any better at 5500 RPM than at 1500 RPM.

        From this I could take a (poorly) educated guess, that a 30 weight oil or possibly lower is going to maximize oil flow volume for my street motor that at 3500 RPM and will rarely see higher engine speeds.

        Bob recommends experimenting with lower viscosity oils step-wise. For my application, that means switching from 50 to 40 weight.

        Based on this I don't see a problem at all going to a conventional 10W-40 oil, approved by Howards for their lifters, and using a mechanical gauge to verify oil pressures and then possibly going a step further to 30 weight.

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        • #64
          'Pressure is resistance to flow.' <--carve this in stone. In a system that is missing an oil plug, there is no resistance so there is no pressure because oil simply dumps back to the pan as fast as the pump rotors can turn.

          Inside your pump is a 'Pressure Relief Valve'. This is very important. If the pressure relief valve is stuck shut, pressure will be allowed to keep raising and your oil filter will burst. Don't ask me how I know.

          Oil filters also have a bypass valve that works apart from the pump's pressure relief valve. When your oil is cold and viscous, resistance to flow is high, meaning pressure must also be high. The oil filter cannot possibly filter much high viscosity fluid so the bypass valve opens to allow flow.

          15W-40(or 50) is something I would use in my air-cooled Harley-Davidson engine, not in a car engine. So, what does Ford use for break-in oil? Every Mustang I've ever seen went out the door with 10W-30, including Cobra-R engines (351W with roller lifters). They also use Motorcraft FL-1A filters. They were covered by a factory drivetrain warranty for at least 12,000 miles or more (some years were 50,000).

          My wife's Ford Escape uses Motorcraft 5W-20 blended semi-syn. Again, less viscous and less resistance to flow so the efficiency produces better gas mileage and the filter rarely bypasses.

          Do not confuse flow with pressure. The pressure relief valve spring is set at a specific pressure. As your oil warms it gets thinner. Engine oil flow increases as resistance decreases at the same pressure, because the oil is LESS viscous.

          So more viscosity is not better. In fact it renders your filter useless, sending whatever it picks up from the pan into your galleries. When you open a lifter you will see. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #65
            Steve from the few replies that I've had on the other forum it seems you may be crushing the lifter as you go past the 1/2 turn or crud in the lifter. You will need to pull some lifters apart to see what is going on exactly. If you pull some apart can you post some pics thanks.
            Cheers

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            • #66
              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
              Inside your pump is a 'Pressure Relief Valve'. ...

              So more viscosity is not better. In fact it renders your filter useless, sending whatever it picks up from the pan into your galleries. When you open a lifter you will see. - Dave
              Yes, as I mentioned the relief valve in my HV pump must be set at 80 psi or slightly less, because that's what my mechanical gauge read when I had it installed for the initial startup of this engine, a year or so ago. When the pressure relief valve opens, it flows excess oil back into the pan.

              That is different that a filter bypass, which is internal to the filter. That is in the range of 10 psi, so that if the filter media gets completely clogged, the engine will still get pressurized oil, albeit unfiltered. I'm confident that never happened, based on my inspection of the filter media after three separate oil changes.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by stubbie View Post
                Steve from the few replies that I've had on the other forum it seems you may be crushing the lifter as you go past the 1/2 turn or crud in the lifter. You will need to pull some lifters apart to see what is going on exactly. If you pull some apart can you post some pics thanks.
                Cheers
                I can see how bottoming out the plunger and running the engine would crush the internal components, because this would cause dynamic loads over thousands of cycles.

                What I don't see is how I could crush the lifter during adjustment by working the plunger through its full movement one, two or three times to make sure that I'm at the top of it's travel for zero lash. Also, setting the intake valve correctly on cylinder 1 for example, followed by hand rotation of the crank and adjustment of the remaining valves, will cause the intake valve on cylinder 1 to cycle through its full movement at least twice, exerting full valve spring pressure on the lifter, hence bottoming it out with about 300# of force. If this does "crush the lifter", then how is it possible to adjust the remaining valves? Also, how do the lifters not "get crushed" when the engine sits for any length of time, with partial or full valve spring pressure on about 1/4 of the lifters? Someone please clue me in.

                I note that out of the 13 of 16 lifters that have collapsed completely (or nearly so), the #1 intake and exhaust are the LEAST collapsed, having retained 3/4 turn of plunger travel.

                Comment


                • #68
                  The new lifters will arrive here this afternoon. I'm taking tomorrow off to install them. I might set up my dash camera, and stick it on the underside of the hood, and record the adjustment procedure. If so I'll post it on Youtube for y'all to critique. I'm warning you ahead of time, you'll likely see a lot of the back of my bald head.

                  I'll number the old lifter sets and ship individual pairs unopened to anyone who is interested. I'll open one myself. I'll give at least one pair to Kevin, and another to Mike. I'll send one pair to Lunati if they are interested.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Too busy at work to do this now.

                    One theory from a guy here is that the lifters can't "bleed out" because the pushrods are non-oiling. Does that have any merit?

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      No, FE pushrods never used a center hole for oiling. Besides, I thought your problem was that the lifters collapsed.
                      I thought you were taking the day off work?..
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        It is of my opinion (for what ever that's worth?), that you follow the oil recommendations that were given by your engine builder and ignore someone in a so called "tech" department, who has no business doing such, and is probably only attempting to redirect any fault in your lifter failures.

                        You indicated that your beliefs were that the oil clearances are on the generous side, and I would find this to be consistent with the practice from a capable engine builder (with insight on the subject), and also with the general requirements of the FE engine, for a number of reasons. It is this, that dictates the viscosity/weight value that is appropriate first and foremost, with considerations of the intended environment (who, where & how in the world is driving it).

                        We use these oils (J.G.) and find them to be fine products (no I won't get a check), and can assure you that your lifter failures were not do to this viscosity. This oil will pass the (properly executed) lifter valving and in the FE it dead ends here, with exception of that which "leaks" past the clearance between the plunger and the body/shell. It is necessary for oil pressure to build in the lifter gallery & between the lifter's O.D. and the block's lifter bore in order for the oil to force/flow into the lifter reservoir below the plunger. Therefore, it is good practice to establish what the clearances or wear values are in the block bores. If the oil viscosity (reasonable) were to high then one would assume the only drawback would be: for those valves in the open position @ shut down, oil has been forced out & plunger is down the bore due to spring pressure applied, recover at start-up might be sightly slower; and in a valve float scenario were the plunger may move up the shell's bore attempting to hold the valve open even when it (lifter) is on the heal of the cam lobe (the effect the driver realizes) the leakage about the plunger to bore relationship may be retarded some thereby extending the time of recovery to nominal (sightly).

                        As of your adjustment process; I always say, "if it works for you, keep at it", but, allow me to suggest a process that I prefer. First, wash lifters in clean solvent, one to clean them, and remove any oil from the reservoir so that the plunger moves freely (soaking maybe necessary to thin oil trapped inside lifter), apply light oil (WD-40) to inhibit corrosion (do not submerge).

                        At time of installation lubricate block lifter bore w/ oil, w/ roller lifters, dip body in oil ensuring roller bearing is saturated but not filling lifter's internals; w/flat tappets apply high pressure lube/grease to faces only; slip into bores (if binding exists stop look).

                        All of the other valve train components (rockers/shafts, push rod/manifold, adj. screws & nuts) must function freely/smoothly, if not, fix it.

                        The value of the hyd. lifter is that using pressure to supply oil and inability of the mechanics to compress the oil captured, the plunger floats in the lifter body and self positions it's self, creating a zero lash effect even as parts wear (also allows sloppier tolerances in the engineering & production). We normally position the plunger closer to the top verses the bottom for a number of reasons. Therefore,we measure from the top down verses from the bottom up.

                        Assuming you have a lifter w/ the typical performance aftermarket lifter plunger travel distance of approx. .080" +/- (you should know as in the cleaning process you established freedom of movement in the plungers; note their are others), generally, the established value of .020" - .040" lifter plunger preload (distance the plunger is compressed from the retainer) is accepted. Always inquire with the manufacture if in doubt.

                        When adjusting, establish (rotating adjusting fixture) the point where the clearance in the valve train is removed but, without preloading the plunger, then turn the adjusting fastener that which equites the desired preload. With the plunger free to move this requires feel & light touch, but is best way to know where your at in reference to zero. If you start with the lifters "pump-up", as you rotate the engine you force the oil out of the lifters and you end up with varying feel/technique as you proceed and don't know where the plunger is in it's bore height wise.

                        Your concerns over damaging lifters, rotating engine by hand (or bump starter) and allowing plungers to "bottom-out" is unfounded (unless some real cheap China sh't).

                        When complete pour oil over all valve train components slap-on valve covers. Always prime engine before starting. I also prefer to rotate engine w/ starter (spark plugs removed & battery charger attached) to establish oil pressure, install plugs & start.

                        BTW is this a 390 or 410, or? In the photo of your engine, I noticed that the block has the additional main webs & also the unmachined bosses for the cross-bolt caps which we most often encountered with the Mercury 410 cu.in. engines of I believe 1964 +/- vintage. Scott.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Proper oiling is a major concern for any manufacturer who includes a long engine warranty. We can do a lot of double talk or we can 'feel as if' about a build but the big boys in Detroit spend millions (yes, many millions) on Engine Engineering. Follow your manufacturer's lead and their suggestions.

                          You mentioned oil viscosity and how it affects flow and pressure. This science is very easy to prove. Your article avers that cars 'up north' suffer in cold weather. The oil gets so thick that viscosity and flow cannot be measured for the first two or three minutes of run time. They suggest, if the engine is not under load, wear is minimized until the temps reach over 100F. That is the reason for using 10W-30 (or 5W-20), even on new engines.

                          Oil filters cannot possibly work during this time. In fact they bypass nearly ALL the oil until the viscosity thins out:
                          CLICK HERE for BOBISTHEOILGUY's post regarding filtration bypass.

                          According to this information, it is no wonder your oil filter was clean when opened. BTW, I agree with his findings. Too much viscosity starves engine components when they are cold. - Dave
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            The subject of proper oil viscosity & oil flow values within an engine can be a complicated & long drawn-out discussion, and rightfully with no singular conclusion. The number of variables involving the "who, what & where in the world" are to vast for this forum compile (or any other that I have read).

                            If you have confidence in your engine builder (hopefully), allow their experience & wisdom on the matter guide you. This is some of what you pay for from the professional (vs. some neighbor/buddy/guy who knows about cars & works out of his garage at home, nites & weekends - CHEAP!). Your engine (FE) is no longer as it left Ford 30-40+ yrs ago; nor are the lubricating oils what Ford was familiar with at that time.

                            Oil filter by-pass somes (never "all") & instances alone is complicated and involves many considerations, again to vast for this forum to draw any steadfast singular conclusion. I will inject that with testing on our part, I would recommend for a typical screw-on unit w/ O.E.M. mountings, using the Ford FL1 filters for standard vehicle operation, and the Ford FL1HP for the more spirited operations (where applicable). Scott.

                            And yes obviously, oil does not flow as readily when colder, and there are many ramifications within the engine to this, not just oil filter by-pass concerns. So, don't raise **** until the engine is up to "normal- operating-temperature", as maybe your father or grandfather told before.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                              No, FE pushrods never used a center hole for oiling. Besides, I thought your problem was that the lifters collapsed.
                              I thought you were taking the day off work?..
                              My two biggest clients have me buried under structural engineering work, so less time for my hobby, and it has become much more difficult to take a day off during the week.

                              I attempted this last lifter install using 5W-30. The Howards are identical to the Lunatis. Except they failed to pump up from the beginning.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Last night I disassembled everything on the motor and the car is getting towed to Mike's tonight or tomorrow morning, then they'll pull the engine out. His engine builder, David, is going to tear it down and inspect everything. Once he gets to that point we'll have a conversation and decide how to go.

                                One change I want to make is to put an "RV" type cam in this motor. Roller hydraulic, but I'm going with smoothest idle and low end torque available. Even when everything was running perfect I wasn't satisfied with the idle quality. And I want best fuel economy.

                                I read through Bobs The Oil Guy. What Dave said about filter bypass is also a concern. I also want to use 5W-30 from the beginning.

                                I've been monitoring oil pressure and temperature on my Jeep for the past few days, a 3.6L Pentastar engine, noting temperature takes quite a while to get to it's plateau of 180F, about 20F lower than coolant temperature. This engine also has a 2 stage oil pressure system, applying 80 psi at start up and lowering to 40psi when warmed up. It will increase pressure with RPMs and apply the second stage at high RPMs, basically maintaining about 20psi per 1000 RPM.

                                This is why I like Rabotnik's recommendation for a HV oil pump. I think the old rule-of-thumb 10psi per 1000 RPM is out-of-date. Back in 1964 an engine was expected to last 100k miles; today 300k is more common. The increased oil pressure is why. That, and cleaner fuels, roller parts.

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